Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Being able to speak to Mr. Fish last week was a real treat.  Jacqueline and I were able to get feed back on the ideas we had for our final assignment and we as a class were given the opportunity to see caricatures and political cartoons in the eye of someone who makes them for a living.  His choice of topics and artistic talent are very fun and though they may be controversial, add the satirical remarks in regards to all.  With this, it makes it very difficult for one to call him racist.  When hanging posters there was some controversy over the zebra comic.  One speech bubble had the word white trash and the other had the n word.  Considering that zebra's are both black and white and a derogatory word was used for both races, it seems that there wouldnt have been quite as much controversy.  However, this was not the case   After speaking with Mr. Fish as well as reading many of his cartoons, I don't see them as male oriented topics, unless one considered politics to be a male specific topic.  For me, politics has grown to be such a topic in equality what with  women voting and women in politic positions that using these topics as a means for a laugh is just as equal as the rights we have acquired in history.  Even though I don't believe that Mr. Fishs cartoons are male specific, there are cartoons that are indeed male specific.  From what I've seen, these kinds of cartoons involve women being dummed down and inferior to the male.  Not that this is right but, some people get a kick out of it.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Mr. Fish

Mr. Fish was probably one of my top speakers that I have seen here at Alfred, he was amusing and had a good sense of humor, which is different compared to past visitors. I enjoyed meeting him and talking about my work and projects and what my future plans were. I felt that he was actually interested in the students rather than just coming to talk about himself. I really enjoyed his talk even though I feel like many people around Alfred had mixed feelings about him due to the posters. Being stopped in the hallway and told not to continue hanging them up was a bit shocking.. but people are entitled to have their own opinions. As far as his posters being stereotypes I feel like yes they are, but at the same time I feel like that is his angle that he goes after.. It seems like he tries to go after stereotypes that will get a reaction out of people. I don't feel that his cartoons are looking at any sort of gender, I mean from the cartoons I have seen he mocks both males and females. For example the Jesus comic and the Georgia O'Keefe cartoons are making fun of both genders. Which is something I find okay, I feel that people should be able to laugh at one another and not take jokes so seriously towards their personal opinions. I feel like if someone were to make a racist joke towards me I'd be able to laugh right back, but that is the problem with today's society people take it personally and don't know how to laugh about it. which is what I like about Mr. Fish because he takes these stereotypes and make people laugh and talk about them.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Comedy's Shock

It's funny this past weekend I watched a movie called "Man on the Moon" starring Jim Carey and Danny Devito. This movie was a biography of one of the greatest performers of all time Andy Kauffman who's comedy rooted from shocking the people. Before I wrote this posting this I skimmed through Jacquline's posting and almost forgot that Mr. Fish's art mostly used this kind of comedy in his artwork. I just thought it was an important point to bring up. I highly recommend watching " Man on the Moon" its really strange and in a way depressing but its very interesting.

Mr Fish

Mr Fish was probably the best artist talk I've seen here at Alfred. I think a lot of people were misguided by the posters that were going up around Alfred. Some people thought he was just some angry person who found it funny to poke fun at religion, politics and so forth. I was glad I got to speak to him before other students did I was excited to know who he was. Furthermore I'm happy to say that he shot passed my expectations ,in his presentation he seemed like more of a philosopher and artist than that of a politician or political artist.What makes meeting up with him was the fact that he was so humble and down to earth, which is where I believe artists of all kinds should be. What we all are practicing are levels of communication through two dimensional and three dimensional media as well as other types of media such as audio.
From what I heard after his presentation in Homes lots of students reevaluated their reasons for being in school and what continues to drive them to be here. Many of the students were really happy to see that Mr. Fish's knowledge of Philosophy Politics and Concept all seemed to be equally balanced. Im glad I got to meet him.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Post For 04/22

Since this post is supposed to be done on Sunday of Hot Dog Day, and I know I'll forget, here is my commentary on the Mr. Fish presentation that I just attended. I thought it was great first of all, I had never really gotten anything out of any other artist talks that I've attended here so far, but this one I got many things out of. He made a lot of good points, I thought. I also thought that he answered a lot of the questions that people, and myself were posting about for last week. He said that his purpose of these cartoons was not just to argue politics, but to have fun, and make some dirty jokes. He said that he doesn't think that he trivializes world catastrophes, but rather enables the viewers to have an uncomfortable/controversial conversation upon viewing his pieces, instead of an academic one. I think this point is very important, and interesting to think about as attending school here at Alfred. I think that more conversations need to be controversial, I don't think you learn nearly as much from a one-sided point of view as you do from looking at the issue from many points of view. He creates his work in hopes that it will cause a little bit of confusion amongst the viewers so that these conversations occur.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Yeah, I remembered this post

I have some questions for this, Mr. Fish fella.  I want to know if people ever judge him for drawing comics.  I think that's something he'd likely experience; comics get a bad rep.  I want to know more about his favorite cartoons, comics, taste in music- maybe a good joke if he knows some.  Does he think of himself as a funny guy?  What's the part of his job that drives him to the brink of his sanity on a daily basis?  What other artistic enterprises does he engage in?  Do cartoon artists really live like the cartoon artists in the movies; i.e. James Bond, James Dean- or is it like R. Crumb all the time?  Has he ever tried to do the whole 'superhero' scene?  How did his old work train him for his new work?  What jobs has he held in order to support his cartooning addiction?  Is he addicted yet or can he still get the patch?

Meeting Mr. Fish

I would like to ask Mr.Fish about the use of physiognomy and Lavater’s ideas of what makes the character in the comic speak to the viewer even if the viewer isn’t aware of it. I’d also like to dabble more in knowing how you accomplish a generalization about a personality while aiming it in the direction the comic is speaking towards. Another conversation that would be interesting for me would be about the use of animal in place of the human and why some animals are chosen over other, what that animal means by itself and what it means to the person being portrayed. I think that’s a conversation that would carry over to all of my studies.

Question for Mr. Fish

I was mainly curious where you pull the subject matter from. You have such an array of religious and controversial topics portrayed in your work. My main question however, is how one knows when a political cartoon has crossed that fine line from being hilarious to hurtful. Being that you are a well known political cartoonist it will be interesting to get your views on how much is too much when creating a satirical version of another person. Also, does this vary based on the impression, personality and popularity of a person?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mr Fish Mr Fish

Like many others, I'm curious as to where he got his start and why he chose cartooning.  I'm also curious if he is religious at all.  Based on his cartoons on religion on his site, I would guess not, but one never knows.  Along with that, what are his political beliefs.  
Who inspires him?  Is it another cartoonist or is it one of the great painters such as Da Vinci?  
Also I wonder how he feels about how others view his work.  Does he care that he offends people?  Is that his goal?
And why did he decide to draw his cartoons in different mediums?

The End


Questions For Mr. Fish

Although I have many questions, I think I'm most curious about how he feels about being so controversial. Within each cartoon, Mr. Fish has the ability to offend thousands of people individually, or social classes, or religions, or people of different areas, or even people of different careers. I can't even imagine having to defend myself against some of the comments and unhappy remarks I'm sure he receives about his artwork. I would also like to know if he's happy that he became known through his controversial artwork, rather than being an "excellent artist." By that I mean, he seems to have in his mind that he wants to create controversial cartoons that gain reaction of his viewers, rather than creating masterpieces, like Van Gogh or Picasso. Although cartooning and caricature is not fine art, it would still be interesting if he worries more about the content of his cartoons and controversy of them than he cares about how well they are rendered, or what they look like.

Mr. Fish

I'm very interested in meeting Mr. Fish, his work is very interesting and unique. In the sense that I got a lot of feedback when hanging the posters, you can tell he has a very diverse appeal to the public. I was informed to not post any more of the zebra cartoons seeing as they were "racist" to a few people who made remarks. I'm very interested in looking at what Mr. Fish uses for inspiration and what he bases his techniques in his sketches from. I also interested in his feedback on what our work for this class will be. I also am curious to see where he started in this field? What motivated him to go into cartoons and sketches?

Mr. Fish Question

I want to ask about his ideas on the future of editorial cartoons.
He wrote, " Editorial cartoons help prevent the authoritarian powerbreakers of society from completely suffocating democracy with the bogus idea that only professional politicians and high powered businessmen should be allowed to engage in the public debate about how government can function." While newspapers, and magazines are struggling to compete in today's society, and are inevitably being forced to retrench, how does he view his work morphing in the future? Does he see his work reaching a wider audience? (other than Harpers etc.)

Another theme that subsumes his oeuvre is the conflicting arguments between religion and politics. I'm wondering if he could sort of expound upon this?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mr.Fish and a dish

When comes to lunch with us I'm truly obligated to ask the questions of how did he get to do what hes doing. What is his inspiration and motive behind his work? There's also the question of how is it do make these cartoons as a job. But in a different note I will stray away from common questions. I want to ask who his favorite artist is. I want to also ask when he started doing comics. I want to ask if he doodles in his spare time and if he sits down and watches political debates or if he goes off of the general talk around us. The questions ask more that what do you do. These questions are more about talking to him on a level of a fellow colleague and finding who he is. I want to more than anything know the personality of this humorous cartoonist. From his work he seems like a very intelligent and funny guy. I want to actually get something out of this opportunity and talk to him on a personal level. This may be a stretch but it why not let the chance go to waste.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Don't jump!

Being an Equestrian myself, I find this comic very humorous. The idea of horses being able to spook easily is very common, and for people who are not horse people and walk up to a strange horse often result in a spooked or scared horse. Here in this image there is a huge play on words for one taking someone who would commit suicide and replacing it with a horse is funny because horses are huge jumpers depending on the breed. The fact that the artist made the quote "don't spook him officer he's a jumper" is just ironic because horse who generally spook do in fact jump in fright. When a horse spooks it can be from a variety of things it could of because it just didn't want to do what you wanted out of bad behavior or their could be things that jump out at it or something of that nature. As far as this comic being relatable to other readings it again plays with what we have been discussing in class replacing animals with humans and their emotions that are familiar to the public. This image in particular reflecting how people can possibly be suicidal and wanting to jump off the edge of a building.

I thought this commercial was a perfect caricature of life at the bar, although I’m confused as to why they’re drinking water. But the whole idea behind the bar being a "watering hole." There’s also a really terrible transition from plastic surgery to it being okay to change something if you don’t like it for example the flavor of the water, or your nose. This also is completely about physiognomy.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

This week I chose a political cartoon designed by John Cole for the Scranton Times Tribune. This cartoon depicts both Obama and one of his opponents in the up coming elections hopping around as easter bunnies. Each carries a colorful basket with a ribbon hanging off of it with there political standpoints written on them. Though they have been portrayed as these lovable happy animals there views points give off the opposite effect. Obama's ribbon states, "Tax and Spend" The cartoonist is trying to portray how much we as american citizens pay in tax's each year and what is it spent on. Just once, It would be nice to know where this money is going and what exactly it is used for. On Ryan's basket, the ribbon reads, cut and starve. From this I related to the upcoming loss in jobs and pay cuts. It has become difficult just to get by in 21st century America. Many business's have had to down size and let go of hard, long term workers for the sake of keeping their business alive. Which is the opposite of what should be happening when hoping to reach this goal. A business can only flourish if it has the opportunity to grow first. All in All, it was interesting how the cartonist juxtaposed the happy idea of an easter bunny with the depressing message being sent through the easter baskets. Not to mention that both bunnies are arguing over who they think will have more people believe in what they are "selling". After all, that is what politicians do. Sell their ideas and hope that people like them enough to vote for them when the time comes.

clay problems?

A consistent reoccurring theme in caricature is the idea of critique. Critiquing an institution, government, and even art, presents itself in a number of different forms, characters and settings.

When I thought about clay, I couldn't help but to think of claymation. Of course the adorable figures of Wallace and Gromit! Using this aesthetic, I want to critique some of the redundant arguments that a stereotypical authority figure in a gallery would make.
(the pedant within an art gallery/museum)

clay problems

This week we have to solve a problem in clay. I was not aure how or what I would solve. I was not sure if the problem was supposed to be something personal or an issue that we were having with in terms of our mediums. I remember talking about caricature in other mediums such as clay. However I never got to see it in more of a cartoon or comic stylization. In my work I try to represent comic book styles whether its more cartoonish or more realistic. The major issue that I face is within busts representing emotions and characters through the face. Recently I have been progressing in terms of expressing emotions through body types and body language. Faces are my only issues.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Anti-Graffiti Graffiti For April 8th Posting

I think this is a very interesting cartoon, especially after we've been spending the last couple of weeks discussing the matter of graffiti around Alfred University, and Harder Hall. As a class, we made these posters and labeled them under the project title "Anti-Graffiti Graffiti." We assumed that making these posters that we hung up in the bathroom of Harder Hall would deter graffiti in a way, because the messages portrayed on most of our posters were stating the feelings of most, saying that graffiti on public property is degrading and disrespectful. We assumed most people would read these, agree and think about the effects of graffiti before putting anymore "bad" graffiti in the bathrooms (especially.) This cartoon states just the opposite. The owner of this property put his own graffiti up as a way to get rid of vandals. He felt that if the walls were already covered in graffiti, nobody would hang around and put anymore graffiti up in this spot. This way, he knew what the graffiti was, and stopped vandalism. My question is, do people think our classes way of stopping vandalism was more effective than covering up the bathroom stalls with our own graffiti?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Soda and Guns

This image is commenting on how accessible it is for people to come across such things as guns. Vending machines we made to be convent and easy so by having a soda machine next to a gun machine is like saying they are just commodities. It’s almost a play on words that a gun vending machine is like a machine gun.
The people in the cartoon are both in pairs of male and female, they look to be holding books so I would assume they are at a school. Although the people are walking away and have a sort of upturned attitude towards the vending machines they still could have bought a gun. It’s a bit confusing at first because they style and shape of the drawing reminds me of an older figure with the girl at the left having such a large butt and their faces, excluding the dude on the right, aren’t very juvenile.
Having a soda vending machine in school has also been considered a killer as well but I would not equate them as having the same level of dangerousness. To me this comic is saying that kids can find anything they need to almost as easy as pressing a button which is why the image is so powerful. The colors used are also really vibrant and strong, they’re the same colors McDonalds uses to make people hungry, to subliminally persuade them in buying their product.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Perilous Waters

This is a two panel comic titled Perilous Waters.  The first panel depicts two sail boats being tossed around really big waves  with one of the sailors yelling "Steady Men!".  The next panel shows a mob of men and women fighting with each other and grabbing at random merchandise.  Above the crowd is a cashier gripping onto his desk with a terrified look on his face saying, "Hold tight.".  The cashier is imagining the scene in the first store as giant waves tossing a small boat around.  
  This comic is successful, because it's a scene that most people can relate to, whether they've taken part in the frenzy or stood at the sidelines watching it.  The cartoon is making fun of people who go crazy and turn into animals during big shopping days such as Black Friday.  It's commenting on our materialistic society and the depressing fact that material possessions can turn us into such monsters.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Some new dialog - Derek Georgia

There was a series of low grade comics I had found on the internet the other day. I love images about the faults of human kind and even the cynical aspect of the human personality. Comedy these days is about putting the faults of other races or genders out into the open. The first strip is about the cliche man literally getting pulled in by a women's chest. The progression of his mental process through the whole scene is quite incredibly humorous. 

The next comic I saw killed me, its a play off of a modern day superhero. Captain obvious is a hero of justice and truth until he simply kills a man because he was annoyed. It makes you question the line between super hero and super villian. 

This is another play on the human persona. This one in particular is showing that men only love due to physical attraction and women are only attracted by material wealth. It makes me laugh that in comedy this would be the perfect couple. The modern times have formed people into people that are only involved in material possesions and wealth.

A cartoonist's goal

I thought THIS was an interesting video...
its about the cartoonist Daniel Clowes.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

One fat cat

This drawing stood out to me this week because it I find myself always yelling at my cat to get off the counter when I'm cooking or making food. So this relates to the many people who also have cats and have this problem which makes this annoying habit comical. Along with that you also get the sense of how cats have this attitude to not listen to their owners and do what they feel like. What also comes to play within this image is the typical woman telling a people what to do. For example " get off the couch" is replaces with "Get off the counter" you hear these kinds of things with couples and this playing on the relationship of man and woman. This comic also replaces the typical man and woman with the use of animals. How the use of gossip and talking about people behind their backs seem to be what people do these days. Which unfortunately is problem with todays society. It is almost that people don't have anything better to say than to talk about others, which in my opinion is sad to see. This image relates to what we have been discussing in class about how animals can be seen to replace humans for a comical twist on situations. In the essay we had to read last week it goes along with how the artist used animals to discuss the issue. Which is what you see here the emotion of the humans portrayed within the cat. You also begin to pick up on human traits such as the cup of fish and talking on the phone. You could also bring into play with the sense that the cat is also lazy and overweight two other attributes of todays society. So this goes hand in hand with what the artists in the readings were playing off of when using animals within their own works.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Stolen Scream

I've been thinking about using this photo ever since we read about  The Yellow Kid, and how a comic's meaning can change depending on the reader's background.  This self-portrait was taken by Noam Galai in 2006.  It has been used without his permission all over the world (hence the name).  He meant it nothing more than just a photo of him screaming, but he soon found out that people all over the world were using it for different reasons.  Some were using it in their art and and making a profit from it:
It's more famous use, however, is when his face is used as a sign of revolution and change:

National Geographic used his photo in one of their magazines (the only time he got paid for the photo) with the title "Power to the People?"  In countries such as Iran, his face has become a symbol of just that.  His face is graffitied every where and is used as a symbol against the government.  This is image is a perfect example of how an image, comic, cartoon, etc. can have so many different uses and interpretations.

Bobby Chiu

While surfing the web I came across this artist who used animal images and human emotions and figures to caricaturize a situation or character. Bobby Chiu creates these fanciful images of people or these clever creatures he’s created. All of the creatures have a human quality to them that you can relate to, whether that is in their face or body language. I have found that many artist use animal images because it is easy for people to relate to them.
In the image above you see a boy dressed as a fish or a whale dragging around his pet fish. This image is ironic because the same thing the boy inspires to be is the exact thing he is killing, which could become a huge commentary on our lives as we grow up but never mind that. Between the boy and the fish I would say they have the same type of mouth with the teeth out and the drool. Also all the eyes look really similar, kind of glassy and vaguely looking somewhere but maybe not at anything particular.
In terms of last week’s discussion, these images aren’t portraying a historical event but actually more of a commentary on evolution perhaps? The closeness between man and creature.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hot Topic is not punk rock, Edward Koren does not make comic

I hate the Edward Koren comics.  Let me defend myself here.  I feel like he has good insight into comics- I love a lot of his commentary however dry, yet his work irks me in plenty of ways.  He uses animals but seems to fail at provoking a sense of critique through their use.  In the Beard and Nast writing that was assigned last week both artists use the animal as an analogy between the beasts they portray and the humans they represent.  In Koren’s comics I feel that he is hardly making any similar commentary, rather substituting animals for people in order to invoke a sympathetic view of the analogous human that the beast represents.  It’s a kitsch use of the animal rather than a symbolic substitution.
 I think Koren’s comics remind me of an internet meme that was recently really popular. 
   In the Koren article two separate pieces relate to the theme of ‘being misunderstood.’  In one two beasts stand on the edge of a cliff watching the sun over mountains, the other shows a man looking out a window as his wife talks on the phone about his “rage.”  In both of these pieces a character is preoccupied by a phenomena while another character is addressing the distant character.  I’m frustrated at the humor because I don’t find it funny.  There’s an awkwardness that the preoccupied character has that makes me uneasy.  Why can’t he just enjoy the company he has rather than be preoccupied with a window?  Why’s he so angry? 
While I do not find Koren’s comics funny I do however find Doug Stanhope to be extremely funny.  I would relate the preoccupied character of Koren’s comics from the article to something he says at the beginning of his comedy stand-up special No Refunds.

            New York is baffling in that it's a city that prides itself on being an absolute shit-hole. It's like — there's nothing good here, people are proud of that, they're happy, "Oh, it's overpriced, and it's overpopulated, and it stinks like piss, and comics! — comics film specials here!" And they all open with a joke about, "Yeah, you spend 8 thousand dollars a month for 9 square feet!" And you go, "Well, why do you fucking live here?" Why do people stay here?.. But unfortunately, this is where comedy works — where people are the most miserable. Like, I'd rather be filming a special on a beach in Costa Rica in a tiki bar right now, but they don't need comedians, they're already smiling, they're already happy — naturally! So that's why I'm doing a special here — cause it's the last fucking place I wanna be.

            This makes a retarded amount of sense.  Humor is born out of misery, but miserable characters are not inherently funny.  I think Koren has some good illustrative ability and a well-known style, yet the comics included in the article are not comic. 
 This here is funny and miserable:

I chose this image because last class we spent a fair amount of time talking about graffiti in Alfred, Harder Hall and even within the bathroom stalls of Harder. This image was appropriate on this topic, because I think that this is probably how the janitors, or whoever is hired to repaint the bathroom stalls-or over any graffiti for that matter- probably feel. I know that this is how I would feel if I had to keep doing the same job over and over again. The bathroom walls don't stay clean for more than a day before more graffiti is added over the freshly painted stalls. This image is playing off of that, in the way that the architect did such a great job with the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, just to have somebody cover it up and become more famous than him, who did the real work. Who should be praised in this case, the architect who created the ceiling, or Michelangelo, who painted over something that was already existing but got all credit for it? Who should be praised in the case of graffiti in the bathroom stalls in Alfred, the janitor that repeatedly paints over each stall, or the student who repeatedly draws or writes nonsense in them? And is the graffiti considered art like the paintings of Michelangelo are?
In my search for a good political cartoon, I came across this St. Patrick's day inspired cartoon from the Augusta Chronicle. Rick Mckee designed this particular cartoon to express the hardships and struggle people of the united states have endured with the current worsening recessions. The leprechaun in the cartoon is bringing his secret pot of gold to a cash for gold store, in hopes that it will bring him back into a state of financial well being. It is interesting how, they depict the workers of the store in the window being shocked at what they see. You would think that with all of the hardships we face in the 21st century, business owners, especially cash for gold employees would have seen it all.
I thought it was very clever that Mckee utilized the upcoming holidays of the time to represent the struggles we face weekly. Using such a well known topic makes the reference relatable to the people who are viewing it.

Obama man! Away!-Derek Georgia

I was viewing some cover art and some comic titles the other day and had come across this image. There is a series of Barack Obama comics that are released to the public. I feel like the whole concept behind this image is quite funny and hysterical. The concept behind a political comic is quite weird to me. The politics general only pick newspapers for the adults to see whats going on in politics. Now it seems like they're targeting younger and younger ages. Just the aspect of creating a comic illustration of Barack Obama seems very awkward in a way. Obama is not a super hero, he doesn't fight crime, anything. In my opinion I depict Obama more bold and bulky if he were to be in a comic book, simply exaggerate his features a little more than already done.Many depictions are of him in a small superman suite tall, skinny and awkward. I would like to know what the class thinks about the caricature of Obama.